If there’s one thing we have all learned from COVID-19, relaxation isn’t just time off work. Even though the lockdown came with a lot of time to sleep and relax, insomnia was still a challenge for many people. In a way, this shows us that relaxation isn’t simply the absence of work. Instead, it involves conscious efforts of prioritizing feel-good activities like having a massage. There are countless options when it comes to massages, and with each comes varying benefits. Here are five types of massage and what they can do for you.
Generally, a massage is a good idea if you’re looking to relax your muscles. But sports massage, in particular, transcends regular relaxation. The therapy is great for athletes who want to have a lower susceptibility to injuries.
Beyond lowering injury rates, studies prove that sports massage can also increase flexibility and athletic performance. It’s usually done on pain points where the injury is felt the most. But in general cases, other massage techniques, including a full-body massage, may apply.
Some of the world’s earliest massage therapists came from ancient Asia. From traditional Chinese medicine to India’s Ayurveda, Asian countries have a rich history and knowledge of massage therapy. Thailand is not an exception. The Thai technique is one of the oldest forms of massage therapy. It has been practiced for thousands of years, gaining ground and acceptability in the United States and other countries.
Unlike other massage techniques, it favours a dry approach. This means no oil, lotion, or lubricant is used on the body during the therapy. A Thai massage therapist often uses rhythmic body kneading and yoga stretching actions to improve blood flow. Instead of current technology like the spa gun, Thai masters use their hands, elbows, fingertips, and sometimes their feet. The technique favours people who prefer naturally therapeutic means of relieving muscles and improving energy and blood flow.
Deep Tissue Massage
A deep tissue massage is a good option for people with chronic muscle disorders. It focuses on the deeper tissues in the body. The massage techniques used by deep tissue therapists are often slow strokes with intense pressure to relax deep muscles and connective tissues. Deep tissue massage is also an excellent option to reduce stress and anxiety.
Native Americans have long used hot stones as a natural healing alternative. This type of massage also owes some of its principles to the master stone therapist Mary D. Nelson. She perfected the technique into the famous La Stone Therapy of today. Generally, the hot stone technique involves using special smooth and warm stones to relieve tensed muscles.
Stone therapists place the warm rocks at injured parts of the body or strategically to coordinate the relaxation process.
The stones, which contain basalt, have unique heat retention abilities. Therapists may use the same set of stones through an entire massage therapy session without replacement.
This type of massage works just like the hot stone technique, without the stones. Since its introduction in the ’80s, Swedish massage has been a go-to for sensitive skin types and new to therapy. Therapists use long kneading and firm body movement to reduce the pain of stiff and sore muscles. Several studies support the use of Swedish massage for the efficient treatment of osteoarthritis.
Generally, having a good massage helps relieve autoimmune symptoms and assists with better quality sleep. It also has many productivity benefits, and companies are gradually coming to terms with these benefits. Some have already begun hiring massage therapists in addition to their workforce.